The excitement to repentance: a chronicle of a city that accepted purchases at petro

Key facts:

Caracas collapsed at christmas by the long queues of pensioners trying to buy food with petro.Merchants who accept payments with this method are still awaiting payouts from the government.The row began at the doors of the supermarket, stood on the sidewalk and dragged for several blocks. The majority of the members of this kilometre-long sandy row were elderly, women with children and any other young man. People wore hats, umbrella and even benches to liven up the wait, however it revealed itself in his face the tiredness. Were assembled there, for several hours, to pay for their purchases with petro.The 31st of December, when some were preparing to welcome the new year in their homes, many others were in the street trying to spend a christmas holiday in cryptocurrencies. It was the first time that the venezuelans used the criptomoneda national —the petro— to pay for products and services. In Caracas it was a christmas strange, warm, full of older adults looking for a trade that used Biopago, the mechanism used to process purchases with petro.Had, then, a lot of people on the street and few stores that decided to accept this method of payment. This generated a chaos nervous, where some few were able to spend their petros and many others were left with empty hands. That day, also doing my christmas shopping, I stumbled upon a profuse and diligent row of adults of the third in front of a cart of Juan Chichero; franchise venezuelan specialized in a cold drink, rice-based. It was the only business in the area who accepted the criptomoneda. The people waited his turn in conversation, reassured just knowing that they could spend a portion of those petros are given by the government. Passers-by looked at the situation, curious of what passed, while said half aloud about the harsh sun that beat down on the heads of the elders.The payment of christmas bonus in petro became a sort of pilgrimage painful, that the whole city saw it and was condolió. Recalling the 31 of December I can say that it was not a method of payment fast or effective, but rather a monetary experiment very poorly led. And while a part of the population spent a large dollar figures to spend a better christmas than they were last year, a group precarious in accordance with a chicha cold after hours of waiting. Image: AlekseyIvanov/

Not everyone could spend their petros

I don’t know if the worst part of the experience of the pensioners who waited for hours to be able to buy a chicken with petros, or those who were not able to access anything. Due to the fact that a select group of retailers accept purchases with Biopago, the demand was huge and supply very limited. Although some pensioners have decided to save in this criptomoneda, many others wished to exchange the petros for bolivars or products immediately.Having a conversation with a friend, a taxi driver, I realized how frustrating it has been this whole situation is for those users who have stayed with the petros in your wallet. He is a pensioner, for which he has received in the course of the month of December his year-end bonus digital. Decided to use the money to pay for the christmas dinner of the 31 December, for which he toured several shops to acquire a piece of pork or chicken. But, at the end of the day he could not buy anything and returned to his house with empty hands; deeply disappointed.He was mobilized in the area of Baruta, a municipality of the state of Miranda, where the merchants who accepted Biopago were in short supply. Because of this, proliferated the long rows of pensioners stationed a few wineries and businesses that were processing petros. In one of the places that he attended the machine Biopago had stopped working. In other businesses slowed down the process, as the fingerprints of the users were not read by the device. After several hours of moving around, he decided to wait to spend the day to buy something else with that money. The following week he learned that the government had disabled the payment system with petros until further notice, I confessed that it feels “ripped off”.”Why promise a money if you are not going to give? Are not serious”, he concluded. I could not say anything, because his discomfort was entirely reasonable. At the time the government deposited these petros in the purses of pensioners, that money already belonged to the citizens. The temporary suspension of the service and the limitations of sale-purchase only restrict the freedom of consumers to buy things when they want and how they want to. That is to say, the holder is not and has never been master of its own petros.If this were not enough, the petro didn’t just let frustration among the users, but also a profound confusion regarding its use. My friend didn’t understand as he exchanged the criptomoneda, much less as used. In the absence of information and propaganda in respect to Petro, many venezuelans are still not familiar with the criptomoneda even though the same is already in circulation. Because of this, the uncertainty around the Petro remains one of the central themes to distinguish themselves among their users.

Traders also lived through the disappointment

But pensioners and public employees have not been the only ones who suffered the consequences of launching poorly planned from the petro. Without a doubt, one of the sectors most affected have been the merchants, who in many still have not received the payouts from shopping with this criptomoneda.This week, I decided to peruse the boulevard de Catia, one of the areas where more merchants accept this payment method, to talk to some about their experience. The search was fruitless, none of the entrepreneurs want to talk about the topic. Wanted to wait for the outcome in silence, still with hopes that the whole situation will be fixed sooner or later. However, those who did not accept petros are more communicative with regard to the current situation.I stopped to talk with a trader, who has a sale of empanadas in the sector, who I confessed to be very relieved not to have to accept this type of payments. The young man pointed out that in the area many sellers of clothes casual —hawkers— they sold all their goods in exchange for petro. But, the past weeks have still not received any payment and have already begun to report losses in bolivars. Because of this, it has made it hard to replenish your goods to get back to work this month of January.”Came here to ask me if I had Biopago, I refused all the time because of the Petro I didn’t like,” he said, then adding: “right Now I see as are the hawkers and they have not paid, who knows if they will be paid”. Due to the delay of the payouts on petro, some merchants are wary of the use of the criptomoneda. A situation that could compromise their adoption at the national level. Only time and further decisions regarding the petro will be the ones that will determine the future of the criptomoneda in Venezuela. Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, or facts that appear in it are the product of the author’s imagination or are used in the framework of the fiction. Any resemblance to persons (alive or dead) or actual events is purely coincidental.

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